Chevrolet Tracker Origins
The early 1989 and 1990 models were built in Japan and shipped to Canada. Shortly thereafter, Chevrolet began production in Canada at the CAMI factory in Ontario.
Several generations of the Chevrolet Tracker were built between 1988 and 2008. Production of the Chevrolet Tracker ended in North America in 2004. Further models were produced through 2008 in Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, and Ecuador; some Trackers are still produced in Ecuador. No plans for an updated model have been released.
The Geo Tracker was released in the United States with the first generation. Since the Geo brand was not sold in Canada, the name was changed to the GMC or Chevrolet Tracker. It was also sold for two years in Canada as the Asuna Sunrunner.About the Chevrolet Tracker
The Chevrolet Tracker is best known for its small size, light weight, and surprisingly capable off-road prowess. Trackers were built like a light truck, making them agile and sturdy. The Chevrolet Tracker has a four-wheel-drive system powered by an economical 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. The suspension is also impressive, providing a smooth ride even in rough terrain.Chevrolet Tracker Evolution
The first generation of the Chevrolet Tracker was introduced in 1988 as a 1989 model. Four names for the first generation were released: the Chevrolet Tracker in Canada, the GMC Tracker, the Asüna/Pontiac Sunrunner, and the Chevrolet Vitara. It was also sold by Suzuki in the U.S. as the Sidekick. The very first vehicles to appear in America were produced in Hamamatsu, Japan, before the Ingersoll, Ontario CAMI factory took over production in North America.
A 1.6-liter inline-4 that produced 95 horsepower motivated the Tracker. Although the vehicle is not extremely fast, it works well off-road. Three trim models were available: the base convertible version, a two-door hardtop, and the hardtop LSi.
The LSi trim model provided many more luxuries at the time, including an automatic transmission and more power features. This trim level was introduced on the convertible versions of the Tracker in 1992.
All models had four-wheel drive to begin with, but a two-wheel drive version was introduced in 1992 for the base models of the Tracker.
The two-door hardtop models were produced until 1995, when the four-door models were produced in Canada. Suzuki introduced a four-door Sidekick to Canada and the U.S. in 1991, but these units were produced in Japan and shipped to North America. Beginning in 1996, the Ontario plant produced the four-door, ending the two-door hardtop models.
The four-door Geo Tracker introduced a new engine to the line: a G16B, 16-valve 1.6-liter engine. This upped the performance level of the machine slightly with an output of 96 hp, but mostly resulted in better everyday livability and refinement.
The first generation ended production in 1998 in North America, making way for the second generation. The Sidekick from the first generation continued production in South American countries well in to the 2000s.
The second-generation Tracker vehicles were introduced for the 1999 model year. Two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive two-door and four-door vehicles were available. The engines show no major changes between the first and second generation models; although, a 2.5-liter V-6 engine with 155 hp and a 2.0-liter inline-4 with 130 hp were introduced. The second generation was discontinued in North America in 2004 to make way for the Chevrolet Equinox and Suzuki Grand Vitara.
The Tracker had an extended life in the south. The first generation models sell in Latin America as the Chevrolet Vitara and the second generation as the Suzuki Grand Vitara, rebadged with the Tracker name in Latin America. The Chevrolet name was used because the Geo name was dropped in 1998.
Even though production ended at the CAMI plant in 2004, the vehicle was sold widely throughout Mexico and Brazil; though a new model was never made available. The GM logo was added to the vehicles in 2006. A four-cylinder Tracker version was introduced to Mexico and Brazil in 2008 due to complaints about the old style of the vehicle.
Although the Tracker has not been updated, used versions of the vehicle tend to run quite well. Unfortunately, reliability cannot hide some of the mechanical problems with the vehicle. Poor acceleration, bad visibility out of the rear of the vehicle, and somewhat slippery steering and handling hinder the performance of the Tracker.
If you want to buy a Tracker, choose one of the most recent models with the higher-performance engine. If possible, find the 2.5-liter V-6 from the second generation. The higher horsepower solves the acceleration issue and gives you a little more power when driving offroad.